MICE Industry Marketing BS
Director of Conference Focus, Max Turpin is sharing his insights on a range of topics with a regular column in BEN. Topics include new generation events and making events effective and valuable.
THERE are certain words and sayings that have crept into our industry that trigger me. There’s not enough editorial space here to list them all, so I’ll call out just a few that bug me.
Taking guests “On a Journey” - Marketing metaphor BS
If I had a frequent flyer point for every time I’ve read or heard someone say, “guests were taken on a journey” or “let’s take them on a journey” in relation to attending an event or to the marketing of an event, I’d have enough points to fly to the moon and back. This figure of speech has become completely overused, and in many instances where it’s attempted, the reality falls well short of the promise. Guests may have a great time but they haven’t experienced any kind of odyssey. In real life, the only journey most people may be thinking about or are interested in is their next family holiday or perhaps their next interstate business trip. To me, much of the time, use of this metaphor is just clichéd, fantasyland marketing BS.
“Bespoke” - Imperious, highhat BS
The term bespoke derives from the word bespeak, meaning “to be spoken for”. The term was born out of the tailoring world of the 17th century when tailors held lengths of cloth and customers could select fabric from which a suit would then be made for them. If another customer were to ask for the same material, he would be informed that is was “spoken for”. Hence, bespoke tailors and suits. In Australia over recent years, anything previously termed “tailored” or “custom-designed” has become “bespoke”. Some event management companies have jumped on it. It’s just a glorified, grandiose and pompous way of saying we tailor our services to your specific requirements. By using the term, I wonder if they now wear top-hats to work and keep fresh bread and cucumbers onsite for afternoon tea. Good day to you, squire.
“Unique” - Stating the bleedin’ obvious BS
The definition of unique is being the only one of its kind and unlike anything else. Disregarding unit blocks in high-density living areas and terraced houses of the 17th and 18th centuries, logic tells you that no two buildings are the same. This is especially true of hotels, resorts and speciality venues. Yet many feel it necessary to point out the bleedin’ obvious by informing us that their property is “unique”. I guess they want to make it sound special and remarkable…. leaving us to reflect upon its distinctive, extra-special, remarkable uniqueness.